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Prime Minister P. J. Patterson said that UN reform must go beyond the Security Council and place the greatest emphasis on the development agenda, including the equitable distribution of the world’s resources and changes to the world economic structure to allow all countries to be part of the decision making process.
He was speaking at a meeting with the President of China Mr. Hu Jintao in Beijing on Tuesday (June 21.
The Prime Minister said that after 60 years the role of the UN must be revisited and redefined, but consistent with the basic purpose of the Charter to promote peace and security for all mankind. The change, he said, must be promoted through programmes that seek to eradicate hunger, poverty and diseases. Mr. Patterson said that the institutions of the UN should be reshaped to fit this priority. The Jamaican Prime Minister said that the rush to concentrate purely on the Security Council, how Permanent Members are chosen and their veto rights to the detriment of other major issues, was misplaced. Mr. Patterson said that the challenges of today require a truly multi-lateral response. He asserted that no single country or group of countries should be able to impose their will contrary to the wishes and interests of the majority of the members of the UN.
He said Jamaica would continue to work with the G77 and China to explore a common position on issues, as well as towards the implementation of the Doha Agreement which emphasised greater bilateral trade among developing countries.
Mr. Patterson said that the move to intensify South-South cooperation was not an alternative to working with the North in global development but rather, an attempt to develop greater bilateral cooperation in trade, technology and social services such as health and education among developing countries.
He commended China for its willingness to contribute to the growth and development of the countries of the South.
President Hu said that China was in support of making the development agenda a priority of UN reform. He congratulated Prime Minister Patterson on the success of the Second South Summit and said that China was prepared to work with the G77 to assist developing countries. He asked Mr. Patterson to continue to exert his influence in the international arena as current chairman of the G77, in order to advance the international agenda where the voice of nations, large or small, would be heard and respected.
Prime Minister Patterson is on an official visit to China where he has so far held bi-lateral discussions on a wide range of issues.